The Sombrero Galaxy, as we have noted is 28 million light years from Earth and is roughly half the size of our own Milky Way Galaxy (50,000 light years vs. 100,000 light years in diameter). Both are spiral galaxies. Now here's the thing: the image above is of the Sombrero Galaxy as it existed 28 million years ago. 28 million years ago! The age of the Sombrero Galaxy is estimated to be 13 billion years (vs. 13.6 billion years for our own galaxy), very near the estimated age of the universe (14 billion years). Keep these numbers in mind as we conduct a thought experiment:
 
Our galaxy, The Milky Way, is estimated to be composed of between 200 to 400 billion stars. If we take the lower figure and multiply this by 50% (The Sombrero Galaxy is approximately 50% the size of the Milky Way), we can, with reasonable certainty, estimate that there are at least 100 billion stars in the Sombrero Galaxy. 100 billion stars! Given that both The Milky Way and Sombrero galazies are about the same age, what are the chances that there are NO planets orbiting the billions of stars in the Sombrero Galaxy that support some form of intelligent life? If your answer is zero, we can, with reasonable certainty, conclude that your answer is correct!
 
If you want to talk more about this thought experiment, e-mail basilbaker@basilbaker.com.

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